Eamonn Butler

Author and broadcaster on economics and social issues

Books by Eamonn

The Condensed Wealth of Nations – and The Incredibly Condensed Theory of Moral Sentiments

Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations is one of the most important books ever written.  A classic of political economy, it earned Adam Smith the reputation as the father of modern economics. Smith recognised that economic specialization and cooperation was the key to improving living standards. He changed the way of thinking about trade, commerce and public policy and laid the foundations for the study of economics.

Despite this, the book is rarely read today due to its dense and archaic style. In The Condensed Wealth of Nations, Eamonn Butler compacts and explains the key concepts in The Wealth of Nations into 70 pages and makes it accessible to modern readers.

The book also contains a primer on The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith’s other great work that explores the nature of ethics.

The Condensed Wealth of Nations’ clear and reader-friendly style make it a must read for anyone who wants to learn more about Adam Smith’s vision for free and open markets and the wealth of nations which emerge as a result of a free market economy.

Milton Friedman – A Concise Guide

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Milton Friedman changed the world. From free markets in China to the flat taxes of Eastern Europe, from the debate on drugs to interest rate policy, Friedman’s skill for vivid argument and ideas led to robust and often successful challenges to a dizzying amount of received wisdom. Relying on big-picture economic analysis and an insistent faith in human freedom, he took on the economic and political orthodoxies of his day – and if he didn’t always win, he never failed to change the terms of the debate. Rarely an uncontroversial figure, with his disciples and detractors to this day, this is neither a credulous nor a critical look at the Nobel laureate.

A brand new guide, Milton Friedman – A Concise Guide simply sets out to explain his economic and public policy thinking in a straightforward and accessible way for the general reader and student. Find out: – how Friedman undermined Keynesianism and the prevailing wisdom of large-scale economic intervention – how he demonstrated the true cause of the Great Depression and identified its real culprits (they weren’t the ones jumping out of the windows) – what Friedman believed really destroys the value of the money in your pocket and how it can be stopped – his arguments for why regulations and minimum- wage laws actually achieve lower standards and greater poverty – his reasons for why big corporations prefer markets that aren’t free, and how high taxation harms the wealthy less than anyone else. With more, too, on democracy, equality, global trade, education, public services and financial crises, this is a concise but comprehensive guide to the influence of a key 20th century thinker. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the economist whose work changed everything.

Ludwig von Mises – A Primer

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Ludwig von Mises was one of the greatest economists and political scientists of the twentieth century. He revolutionised the understanding of money, inflation and recessions; comprehensively refuted the arguments for socialism; and provided a devastating critique of the methodologies of mainstream economics. His contributions to the Austrian School laid the intellectual groundwork for thinkers such as F. A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard and Israel Kirzner.

In Ludwig von Mises – A Primer , Eamonn Butler provides a comprehensive yet accessible overview of Mises’ outstanding achievements. At a time of economic crisis, this monograph makes it clear that Mises’ work is highly relevant today. Indeed, while mainstream economics has been found wanting, the latest recession appears to have been entirely consistent with his analysis. Furthermore, the poor performance of state health and education services can be explained by Mises’ Austrian theories. Nevertheless, Mises remains neglected by the economics profession, policymakers and academics. This readable primer explains why his work should be at the core of economic thinking.

Austrian Economics – A Primer

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Austrian School economists gave us the ideas of marginal utility, opportunity cost, and the importance of time and ignorance in shaping human choices and the markets, prices and production systems that stem from them. ‘Austrian’ economics has revolutionised our understanding of what money is, why economic booms invariably turn to damaging busts, why government intervention in the economy is a mistake, the importance of time and information in economic decision-making, the crucial role of entrepreneurship, and how much economic policy is just plain wrong. Eamonn Butler explains these ideas in straightforward, non-technical language, making this Primer the ideal introduction for anyone who wants to understand the key insights of the Austrian School and their relevance and importance to our economic situation today.

The Alternative Manifesto

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The UK is in a rotten state –  a ruined economy, crumbling services, a bloated bureaucracy, bullying officials, absurd regulations, and politicians who use power to benefit themselves, not the public. But what can be done about it?
The Alternative Manifesto outlines a twelve-step programme to wean politicians off their addition to high spending, debt – and power. With interviews from the heads of the leading policy think-tanks, it shows why we need to cut government spending far and fast, how Parliament can be rebuilt as the defender of the public’s rights, why power must be devolved to local communities and individuals, how to curb the quangocracy, why we need to simplify taxes and stop taxing low earners entirely and, how to introduce choice and competition into public services.

The Rotten State of Britain

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They told us things could only get better. In fact they got worse. New Labour promised us prudent economic management and a fair, businesslike government with new ideas. A dozen years later, they left us with the deepest debts in our history, greater inequality, and a political culture shot through with spin and sleaze.
Based on a decade of observation about the state of the nation, The Rotten State of Britain makes sense of the confusing daily headlines to expose and explain the alarming long-term decay that has set in to our system of government. Written in a dry, witty and accessible style, it shows just how far we have drifted from those early ideas, and just why it was possible for us to end up in a worse state than we started.

The Best Book on the Market

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Markets are all around us. But how many people understand how they really work? In clear, non-technical language and using real examples from everyday life, The Best Book on the Market explains the reality of markets – which is very far from the rarified models that exist on the pages of the economics textbooks.

Why do governments’ attempts to ‘improve’ the workings of the market actually tend to make things worse? Why are black markets not a black as they are painted? How does the price mechanism work to reveal and repair shortages? Why are free markets the most efficient of all economic systems – and the most moral? Can markets solve pollution? And how can we best create wealth among the world’s poorest? The Best Book on the Market has the answers.

Adam Smith – A Primer

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Adam Smith (1723-1790) is widely regarded as the father of economics. He is best remembered for his pioneering book, The Wealth of Nations, a powerful statement of the importance of free and open markets, commerce, and trade. But few people know much more. This book shows the remarkable scope of Adam Smith’s work  – not just economics but social psychology, politics, and ethics. And it is full of insights about him – for example, that his support for free markets stemmed from a humane desire to help the poor, not the rich.

Adam Smith influenced the politicians of his time and he continues to influence them today. Adam Smith – A Primer tells you all you need to know about the man and his ideas in a book that is accessible, non-technical, and readably short.

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